Ally Hume's blog

PICTURES project: predicting disease with artificial intelligence

Author: Ally Hume
Posted: 10 Dec 2019 | 11:41

EPCC is part of a £4.4 million project to turn a database of millions of clinical images into a powerful research tool to help tackle health conditions including lung cancer and dementia.

Each year millions of clinical images such as X-rays, CT, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and retinal images are generated by the NHS in Scotland and stored in the national imaging database. In addition to containing important clinical information, these images also potentially contain a great deal of information about the health of the individual which is not currently made use of in health care.

A data-driven approach to public health

Author: Ally Hume
Posted: 6 Dec 2019 | 14:28

EPCC and other partners at the University of Edinburgh have commenced work on a new programme to develop DataLoch, a data repository for all local, regional and national health and social care data for residents of the Edinburgh & South East Scotland region. DataLoch and the associated Data Driven Innovation team will drive research and innovation, improve patient care, and reduce health inequalities across the region.

Making Scotland's medical images available for research

Author: Ally Hume
Posted: 20 Dec 2017 | 13:37

I've worked on many data analysis projects in my career and two common themes are that obtaining the data can be a  significant challenge and that once you obtain it you’ll notice it is very messy.

The National Safe Haven for research using unconsented NHS data

Author: Ally Hume
Posted: 21 Nov 2017 | 16:10

NHS Scotland allows research using routinely collected, unconsented patient data. Additionally, these data can be linked to social data such as education. The research this enables can have an enormous public benefit but the use of these data must be managed very carefully to safeguard privacy and maintain public trust and support.

​EPCC is responsible for building, supporting and hosting the infrastructure of the National Safe Haven, and we continue to develop the infrastructure and software to further enhance the service.

BonFIRE: Giving software people their testbed

Author: Ally Hume
Posted: 24 Apr 2013 | 10:31

Every morning as I walk to my office I pass a closed door that intrigues me. A sign on the door reads "Fluid Dynamics, Wave, wind and current flume, Towing tank." To a software guy this induces awe. Clearly some serious science is taking place behind that door and the need for emergency contact details at the bottom of the sign serves to confirm this. Behind that door lies an experimentation testbed and to my mind experimentation testbeds are cool. Why? Two words: observation and control. Testbeds enable the collection of data that support the observation of what happened during an experiment. That's great but even better is the control part. Testbeds support controlling conditions that normally cannot be controlled. How does this tyre perform in the rain? Let's switch the rain on and see!